COVID-19 Testing, District Protocols, & Health Information
The Northwestern District Attorney's Office is sharing these videos with families regarding social host liability and keeping everyone safe this summer.
Massachusetts is in the second year of an EEE outbreak cycle, and there is a risk that people may be infected. However, children can continue to spend time outdoors for recess and other activities during the day with the use of repellent—as well as wearing long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when possible. Outdoor activities should be avoided between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
EEE (Eastern equine encephalitis) is a rare but serious disease that is generally spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. EEE can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group; however, people under age 15 are at particular risk.
To reduce the chance of becoming infected, the Department of Public Health (DPH) recommends always applying an EPA-approved mosquito repellent to children before they go outside. EPA approved repellents contain DEET, permethrin, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
PFIZER COVID VACCINE FOR SCHOOL-AGE STUDENTS:
On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control recommended the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for students ages 12 and older. Please see the COVID vaccine website links below how you can access the Pfizer COVID vaccine for your student if you are interested in having them vaccinated against COVID-19.
Sites to schedule COVID VACCINE appts:
- Call 211 or visit https://mass211.org/
COVID VACCINE & EXPOSURE INFORMATION:
Do I still have to quarantine after I've been vaccinated if I am identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19? (Updated 3/8/21)
If you have gotten two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or one dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine more than 14 days ago, you are not required to quarantine following an exposure unless you have symptoms. If you have symptoms and have been exposed, you should quarantine and contact your healthcare provider to determine if you should be tested for COVID.
MA DESE CLOSE CONTACT DEFINITION:
According to CDC guidance, individuals are less likely to be exposed to COVID-19 during outdoor activities, even without the use of masks. The Department of Public Health recently updated its definition of a close contact to focus on close contact that occurs when indoors. As a result, the period of time that a student or staff is outside does not count as a close contact. The identification of a close contact is ONLY attributable to the time spent indoors.
Individuals will be identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person if they were within 6 feet of them while indoors, for at least 15 minutes, while they were symptomatic or within the 48 hours before symptom onset. Individuals will also be identified as a close contact if they were within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes of someone while indoors, who tested positive for COVID-19 in the 48 hours before their test was taken or anytime in the 10 days after the test.
Close contacts should follow the isolation and quarantine protocols outlined by the Department of Public Health. As a reminder, close contacts who were exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom or on the bus while both individuals were masked do not have to quarantine unless they were within 3 feet of distance of the COVID-19 positive individual for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. Also, individuals who are fully vaccinated or who have had confirmed COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not need to quarantine as long as they do not have symptoms
DESE COVID-19 MasK GUIDANCE:
- For the remainder of the school year: Masking indoors and maintaining other health and safety guidance as issued by DESE is required.
- For summer programs: Masking indoors and maintaining other health and safety guidance is not required, but is encouraged. The DESE summer guidance is in alignment with state guidance encouraging unvaccinated individuals to continue to mask. The DPH mask advisory advises unvaccinated residents to continue wearing masks in indoor settings and when they can’t socially distance.
- For the fall: At this time, all health and safety guidance including masking and physical distancing will be lifted. MA DESE will collaborate with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to issue any additional health and safety recommendations over the summer should they become necessary.